Neelam Hakeem is a Seattle born, multi-talented spoken word poet, former medical claims analyst, mother, rapper, and fierce advocate of women’s rights. The rapper moved from Seattle to LA with her mother when she was 15 after her parents got divorced, her first day in south LA she recalls was on September 11th, 2001. A young Hakeem had to stay in shelters with her mother and often surrounded by gang shootings near her school.
She is a pioneer for black lives matter, women’s rights and social injustices. She has been a very big inspiration for young girls everywhere to pursue their passion and never be ashamed of where you come from. So, here are all the reasons why we love her and her amazing rap style so much!
1) She is the first Black Female Muslim rapper to be featured in Vogue Arabia
The magazine had been the first Vogue worldwide to feature a hijabi model with Somali-American Halima Aden, and it made history once again with the first group hijabi cover with Black Muslim models Amina Adan and Ikram Abdi Omar joining Aden. Neelam Hakeem was one of the iconic few muslim models who was featured in the 2019 issue. In its three-year history, not only has Vogue Arabia featured Black women in its high-fashion shoots and trendsetting beauty pages but it has also highlighted their stories of success and struggle.
2) She speaks out against Political Injustice
There is a strong presence of militant symbolism and themes through her videos when referencing the importance of young black boys and girls learning to protect themselves against violence. She has paved the way for poets to find strength in motion by intricately weaving themes of identity, politics, religious, and social issues masterfully into her work. The civil rights advocate also uses her platform to draw attention to issues affecting black Muslims, and marginalised and oppressed communities from across the world.
3) Sexism in Hip-Hop and Women’s Rights
Hip hop can be really degrading when it comes to women, and we should know that we have the power to steer the wheel in whatever direction we see fit. Neelam and her husband produce music together and sharing her opinion on female representation within the music genre, she stands up for the women she is inspired by. As a talented female rapper, she sheds some light on the problems regarding women in the Hip hop. They portray women as though twerking is all we have to offer. While she does believe that we should do whatever we want, no one should dictate to a woman how she should dress. There should be options.
4) Inspires Women to be creative and fierce
She encourages young girls and women everywhere that you can be modest and fierce at the same time. You can walk into a room and command it with all of your confidence and be proud of your identity. As a women, it is seen as abrasive and masculine to be fierce and strong in our society. Neelam reminds us to hold your head up high, beat the odds, prove them wrong, don’t ever let anyone walk all over you and most of all, never be ashamed or hide your true self at the expense of your light being dimmed. Shine bright, pursue your dreams and never apologise for it.
5) Inspiration for Modest Fashion
Neelam has a truly unique and beautiful sense of fashion. Her styles can range from traditional, streetwear, elegant and monochrome outfits. Neelam Hakeem also spoke about her final decision to wear hijab. She had come across Muslim Women’s Day scrolling through the hashtag on social media and after seeing the various styles and trends for modest fashion and what it represented, this inspired her. She began wearing the hijab, dressing modestly, and seeing if she could use my social media to inspire other women about the beauty of modest fashion and teaches others that Hijab should be a choice.
6) Collaborations with Modest and Jewelry Brands
Neelam Hakeem has stunning African features and carries herself with an air of regality. As she poses and endorses modest-wear brands for her 300,000+ Instagram following, she encourages a body positive image and successfully makes the silent statement that you don’t need to show your skin to be noticed. She has modeled for modest fashion brands Dulce by Safiya, Culture Hijab, Hayah Collection and ambassador for jewellery brand Nominal.
7) Supports Charities
She supports charities from all over the world by helping 3rd world countries clean water, stop slavery, bring clean clothes to those in need, feed families and even help to build orphanages. This program also helps people from all corners of the world living in poverty and helps those in need of shelter.
8) Owns her own clothing and Merch online Store
Neelam has created a space dedicated to shifting the consciousness around Muslim women and highlighting a worldwide sisterhood. Her clothing line is diverse of many quotes surrounding political right’s, women’s rights, humorous quips and even motivational quotes. You can buy sweatshirts, T-shirts, hats, beanies and hoodies at https://neelamhakeem.com/shop/
9) Impactful messages in her rap music
Neelam’s rap videos are visually striking and uses powerful military iconography in her videos. Being aware of what has changed and what hasn’t is an easy way to determine if the politicians are real are not. She offers a truth in hopes that we can see through the tricks and unify to do for ourselves what so many have failed to do for us. People in militaries are trained for life and death situations. Every topic I bring up is life and death and I’m as serious about these issues as a soldier is serious about their mission. So my videos reflect what time it is. There’s just so much injustice, inequality, and lack of true freedom for all. She speaks about these issues that seem to be ignored, like the post above of the Sudan civilians being harmed by their government and officials of neighbouring countries were doing nothing about it.
10) Beautiful Minimalist makeup style
Her minimalist style of makeup is absolutely beautiful with her signature eyelashes, light contouring, impeccable foundation and nude lip colours. She also wear custom made press ons and gel nails created for her by some nail design businesses that she mostly wears in collaborations and photoshoots for the jewellery brand Nominal. She looks absolutely stunning and stay tuned if you want know her skincare secrets!